Moms sometimes hate their kids. But that doesn't make them bad parents.

Moms sometimes hate their kids. But that doesn’t make them bad parents.

Not surprisingly, the number of depressed mothers has increased during Covid-19, as moms have suddenly had to add additional “job descriptions” to a life already filled with demands on their time and energy. As one client told me early in the lockdown, “I’m suddenly not just mom and wife at home and employee at work, but now I’m also teacher, tutor, school nurse, dietician, IT specialist, after-school counselor and friend and playmate to my kids. And I’m highly underqualified for most of those positions.”

Depression often occurs when a woman is trying not to repeat her mother’s mistakes but discovers that it’s not as easy as she thought.

But research shows that the number of depressed mothers around the world has been consistently increasing for years, so there’s more to the rising levels of depression than the pandemic. One likely reason is that many women, including a number who dreamed longingly about having children, find that the experience of motherhood is very different from what they expected it to be — and that present-day conditions exacerbate that contradiction.

Researchers have found that motherhood seems harder than it was 20 to 30 years ago, in part because many more moms are responsible for childcare and job responsibilities and in part because of the increase in dangers from outside influences, such as greater use of drugs and alcohol, and peer pressure that has been intensified by social media. At the same time, these researchers have found, we are more critical of mothers than we have been in the past, possibly because of a greater tendency to blame mothers for their children’s psychological and emotional difficulties.

In my own psychotherapy practice, I have noticed that depression often occurs when a woman is trying not to repeat her mother’s mistakes but discovers that it’s not as easy as she thought. This disparity between daydreams and reality, along with some of the overwhelming demands of parenting, can lead to confusion, anger, sadness, anxiety and depression in the best of moms. The pandemic has in many cases just brought these feelings into sharper relief.

One manifestation of these feelings is women who are unhappy about being mothers and who dislike their children, at least some of the time. Psychological problems arise when they believe that these feelings are wrong and try to ignore them. Instead it would be more useful for them to understand that these feelings are a normal and even healthy part of parenting.

Learning to tolerate negative feelings without always acting on them is a difficult yet important aspect of human relationships. Parents who grasp this dynamic can be good role models for children learning to handle their own anger. And becoming comfortable with a range of emotions allows greater access to a richer, more complex relationship with children as they grow into adulthood.

Part of the problem for many mothers is that their idealized vision of Motherhood with a capital M makes it hard to admit to any second thoughts about their decision to have children. According to society, and frequently their own beliefs, women are supposed to love their children and take pleasure in being moms at all times. But what’s lovable about a temper-tantruming toddler, a whining five-year-old or a hostile adolescent? And who in their right mind enjoys cleaning up a child’s poop?

Sport and the socio-emotional development of children

Sport and the socio-emotional development of children

Copyrights: Pro Sport Development A new research study by Pro Sport Development analyzes the impact of their Community Sports Program on the socio-emotional development of children.

Pro Sport Development (PSD) , in collaboration with Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) initiated an in-depth evaluation to better understand the impact of its Community Sports Program (CSP) on the socio-emotional development of children in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

The overall intended impact of the CSP is to help children from marginalized backgrounds improve their socio-emotional health and well-being, and empower them to become confident and competent leaders within their own communities.

Over the past few years, the changes created by the program have been documented through articles, videos and case studies focusing on individual participants’ stories of change. In addition, analysis using secondary data pertaining to the CSP participants has been conducted. However, up until 2019, only basic quantitative data along with limited qualitative assessments were utilized to evaluate the impact of PSD’s sport for development initiative in Bhubaneswar.

Methodology

For the evaluation of the CSP in 2020-21, a mixed-methods approach was utilized. An exploratory design procedure was used, wherein the quantitative data was collected first, followed by the collection of qualitative data.

Within the quantitative data, baseline and end-line surveys were used with both target and control groups to analyze the changes in their socio-emotional wellbeing. For qualitative data, interviews with select participants, along with their families and PSD trainers, were conducted.

Quantitative data

A total of 267 children from two schools participated in the pre and post intervention surveys conducted for this evaluation. The target group (n=175) consisted of children registered for the CSP at the time of the baseline data collection, and were part of the online intervention implemented through the year. The control group (n=92) comprised of those children from the same schools who did not and have never previously participated in the CSP.

However, as seen in the data analysis of the surveys, the average responses and index scores of a few indicators of both the target respondents and control group have shown a positive change, whereas others have shown a negative change over the evaluation period. Interestingly, the change witnessed in the baseline and endline data for the average responses and index scores for all indicators for both the target respondents and control group follow very similar patterns.

Qualitative data

Qualitative data was also collected as part of the evaluation, in the form of short interviews with participants, their families, and the PSD trainers, to understand more deeply how the CSP impacted participants during this time period. This data allowed PSD to understand the personal impact that the program has had on participants. In total, six participants and their families were interviewed […]

Continue reading the rest at www.sportanddev.org

Feel. Think. Reflect. Don’t “Seal” Your Fate

I took my daughters along the Southern California coastline over the weekend and had the good fortune of observing newborn seals and two mother seals in labor up close. In one beach alcove, around 50 seals swam, lounged about, and nursed their young comfortably in the safety of numbers and natural environmental barriers.  Every year, that portion of the beach was blocked off from the public for baby season.  Even though we wanted to get much closer to the baby seals, we understood why they needed their space.

“It is vitally important that we do not interrupt the bond being formed between a mother seal and her pup. The mother often leaves her pup on the shore while she goes off to feed and if she senses danger there is a strong chance that she will not return,” said Ashley Stokes, manager of Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue. 

But as we walked back, a handful of seal families appeared on an open area of the beach, surrounded by a crowd.  There were two mother seals who have been in labor all day, and a park ranger told us that they were spooked by some dogs off leash earlier in the day.  She had been battling the crowds to keep mothers and babies safe.  Thinking it’s strange why these few seals separated from the main group and safe sea alcove, I started talking to the ranger, and discover that 15 seals were originally born on this exposed section of the beach, separated from the rest of the pod. Since then, they’ve returned year after year to the same ill-chosen, dangerous site for breeding season.

People say, “history repeats itself.” At the same time, Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Are people insane then?  Or ill-fated like those 15 seals who happened to be born in a disadvantage place, felt fear every time they returned, perhaps froze, but never thought, never reflected and thus “sealed” their fate? 

There’s a lot of things we can’t control and trying to do so is a great source of unhappiness.  We can’t control who our parents are, our DNA, but we can shape our relationships by how we interact with people and our gene expression.  The first step is to allow ourselves to feel because that’s how we truly get to know ourselves and can begin the next step. 

When people ask, “How are you?” the automatic and often seemingly only acceptable answer is, “I’m fine, thank you.” I’m not advocating that you pour out your heart to every passerby—the social backlash from it would be bad for your emotional wellbeing.  Other people can choose to pretend like you always feel fine and ignore your emotions—YOU SHOULDN’T IGNORE YOURSELF!

Your feelings are a part of you, and as important as the physical pain sensation we have to a burn.  You need to accurately feel in order to think clearly and plan wisely.  Even with all out technology today, YOU are still the only person who feels what you feel and can CHOOSE what to think, what to do. 

People pick up bad habits (replacement behaviors) because it’s the natural, unthinking instinct to go for the easiest path.  When we face rejection, trauma, disappointment, or any myriad of more complicated emotions, it truly is more immediately pleasant to avoid, escape or deny, but we do so at a cost to ourselves that we cannot afford, damaging self-esteem, increasing anxiety, and creating mistrust, etc. 

How can curaFUN battle the path of least resistance when it comes to personal growth?  We’ve been working hard on a collection of self discovery activities (games, surveys, interactive videos) for our members so that understanding our feelings, default reactions, habits is not only helpful, fully supported but also entertaining.

To read more on seal mothers, read https://www.seasidesignal.com/opinion/aquarium-news-remember-do-not-touch-the-seal-pups/article_d461120a-97bb-11ea-b994-8bed9defdbd2.html

How do you ensure children users’ online safety on curafun.com?

We share your concerns, and have spent years tweaking parent control setting in our homes, trying every app, hardware that are released.

Our program provides a safe environment for children to learn, fail and try again.  It is an intentional and controlled learning environment, and the only equivalent is hiring a one-on-one coach with years of experience in child psychology and education pedagogy. Also, extensive research supervised by NSF, US Department of Education as well as our own internal studies demonstrate that children only need to participate in the program two times a week for 15 minutes each time to benefit.

As a non-profit founded to improve Asian youth’s emotional fitness, we commit to the following:

No hidden agendas – political, religious or anything other than improving children’s emotional wellbeing.

No selling or trading of your personal information

No advertisement  You don’t have to worry about inappropriate Google, Youtube ads popping up. We are not going to sell anything to your kids nor allow other companies to do so.

No private messaging, chatting or emails 
We understand dangers abound online, which is why your children’s accounts exist under yours.  There is no peer to peer private messaging or chatting.   Many other schools and programs ask for children’s emails, we don’t ask and don’t store that data anywhere.  Subscribers to the Multilingual Immersion program have the option of participating in our international pen pal program.  You can find out more about this program here, but know that it is a teacher-led pen pal program where your child’s coach facilitate language and cultural exchange between chosen pen pals.

No Storage or tracking of personal identifying Information

  1. Children can be signed up by their parents, and there’s no need for children to provide their email or identifying personal information.
  2. Any information requested are only used to create personal evaluation/assessment reports, website login and payment processing.

 

Is it possible for my child to finish the entire game in one month? Can I cancel after a month?

Our research shows that children from schools and parents who observe best practices tend to complete each program in about six months. curaFUN is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the emotional wellbeing of Asian youth worldwide.  Read about our mission here.  Each subscription includes not only the game but assessment and recommendation as well as important on-going activities like daily mood check-in, gratitude journal, breathing meditations, positive thinking, goal setting and mentoring that all work cohesively to forge your child’s inner armor.  Our online games are only one portion of each program.  Subscribers to our Multilingual Immersions can also opt in our beta Virtual Exchange Student Pen Pal, and be guided by our coaches to interact with children from other countries.  While we certainly hope your child keeps his/her subscription, you may cancel your subscription at any time. There is no commitment.  Period.

We give families the option of month-to-month subscriptions on all our programs as well as discounts on 6-month and 12-month subscriptions.

Our founder wrote about progress in her blog.  You may want to read it here.